Calou's Blog

Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump

Passage to Turtle Bay

28 October 2008 | south of Ensenada
Quite a bit has happened in the last few days. The new autopilot and new E80 chartplotter are installed and both work great. Prior to leaving San Diego, I tried to get the reluctant aft head working, and in the process removed the hose for overboard discharge. It turned out that the through hull for that hose doesn't close (you can turn the handle all right, but the valve does not shut off water flow).

So Monday morning at 8 a.m., I had the boat hauled out of the water at a yard in San Diego and had the valve replaced. We had the boat back in the water around 11:30 a.m., just in time to catch up with the Haha fleet that departed at 11:00.

We crossed the border into Mexico some time this afternoon and had a shot of tequila to celebrate. The winds were 15 to 20 knots on a broad reach, so we made good time, sailing at about 7 knots.

Towards the end of the afternoon I noticed something was wrong with the radar dome support. The dome was turned at a funny angle. The radar antenna is supported by a stainless steel tube that is bolted to a bracket at the stern and clamped to the backstay further up. The bolt where it is bolted at the stern had partially broken, allowing rotation of the entire radar antenna assembly along the axis of the backstay.

We attached the topping lift to the radar antenna to support its weight and minimize the strain on what is left of that quarter inch bolt. Also if that bolt separated completely, the stainless tube, with the radar cable in it, might damage the radar cable. We're hoping that won't happen before we get to Turtle Bay and can make repairs.

Speaking of which, the sail from San Diego to Turtle Bay is about 340 nautical miles. It's now 4 a.m. and we have another 215 nm to go. I'm doing the 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. shift, but I'm not too tired so I think I'll keep the watch for a few more hours. The night is clear and moonless and I can see the lights, and radar blips, of several Haha boats within a few miles of us. I'm keeping a constant watch for other boats. The AIS does a great job of watching out for ships. I would recommend AIS for anyone planning to do offshore sailing.
Vessel Name: Calou
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 47
Hailing Port: The Corinthian Yacht Club, Tiburon, CA
Crew: Bruce, Pascale, Antoine
Extra: Sailing on the 20th Annual Baja Ha-ha, departing mid October 2013 from Tiburon, and continuing to cruise Mexico. This will be our 3rd Haha. In 2011 we sailed the Puddle Jump from Mexico to French Polynesia, then up to Hawaii and back to San Francisco.
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